Breaking Down The Patent Application Process

When filing a patent, there are three major steps in the patent application process. Initially you want to do a patent search to ensure no one has beaten you to the punch. Secondly, you want to submit the completed application. This should entail you retaining a patent attorney or agent. Third, the patent office will give you a response or want you to make changes to the claim. If you are rejected, you do have the right to appeal.

The process to get a patent can be very time consuming. Once the application has been filed, the typical timeframe can last between 18 – 36 months from the filing date. This number varies on a case by case basis. Areas in the technological fields have been known to take longer.

Types Of Applications

Beyond this, there are three types of patents: utility patents, design patents, and plant patents. The patent process varies for all three and they have separate applications. You will need to know what form of intellectual property applies to it.

A sidebar in the patent application process is the decision of filing a provisional patent application or formal patent application. This provisional application allows you to establish a priority filing date without having to file the full information required by standard applications. However, once one of these is filed, you are under a strict timeline of one year to file a standard application if you hope to pursue a patent.

What Happens After Submitting The Application

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAfter the application is filed, it waits to be reviewed by an examiner. There is no timeframe for this and can take months. For the majority of people at this point in the patent application process will be rejected. Reasons can include the invention not being new or unique to the claims are just not clearly stated.

The examiner will list the reasons for denial. The applicant will have 3 months to respond. After resubmission, if you are told no again you then can appeal. If you are lucky enough to be approved, this is the stage in the proceeding where you would pay the appropriate fees.

Let’s Summarize The Process

To start off the patent application process, a patent search  must be done. This evaluation of very detailed information tells you if someone already has a patent for something similar. This will look for any prior inventions that might negate your claim to a patent. It can be helpful to do your own search prior to filing to make sure that your content is unique.

Next you would want to make a patent claim on the invention. This includes its history and development, how it works, the claims being filed, and prior art, and a title. The individual patent office will have specific rules regarding the layout required. The claims of the patent application define what the inventor is looking to protect.

The entire patent application process generally takes several months to years to complete. In addition to any fees incurred by hiring a patent lawyer, all patent applications will have filing fees that are to be paid at the time of filing. These cover the costs to process your application.